How to select a battalion

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by LLJ, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. LLJ

    LLJ Member

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    DS received a 3 yr to the two schools he is interested in. With spring breaks coming ( and schools closing) plus state competitions, tournaments etc., there is little time to squeeze in a visit and choose. I think we are headed down next weekend.

    Looking for advice: what are the most important things to consider when choosing between two programs. Schools are both academically comparable and its easy to compare the other things: campus, town, feel, distance from home, academic opportunities….
    ….but how should he look at and compare batallions?

    all advice welcome!
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Success rate of the unit... How many start and complete the program, both scholarship and non-scholarship? What is their success rate at the various summer training? How many got active duty that wanted it? How many got their top branch choice? The officer that is there now, how much longer will they be there? Are the units similar in size? Which one feels right? Which one meets his needs better? How many training chances are there during the school year? One might be more hands on with study hours, etc. That might be great for some and overboard for another future Cadet, personal preference does come into play.
     
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  3. LLJ

    LLJ Member

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    Thanks so much! Other than emailing the ROO, is there a way to find this information?

    One unit has 100 cadets, the other has 200. Is 200 considered large?

    I am realizing how very little I even know about ROTC. ugh. What do you mean by "hands on with study hours"?
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    No clue, I wasn't ROTC. Talk to each school and visit if possible. Talk to Cadets. Mandatory study hall, some dets have them.
     
  5. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    "Hand on with study hours" addresses how academically involved is the cadre with the cadets/mids. For example, at my DS's school, the MS-III's offered to assist the MS-I's and II's with any academic issues, and personal problems. Very hands-on and supportive. Some units will offer mandatory study sessions for those who are underachieving on their grades.

    Other ROTC units may be hands off and let the cadets sink or swim on their own.

    The only way to really get a feel for this is to visit the campus and speak to a number of cadets. Talk to the ROO, and if possible, the PMS.

    Also important, is the the college must be the first priority. If the DS/DD is miserable at the college, no matter how good the ROTC battalion/detachment is, it won't make up for it.
     
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  6. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    I don't think one picks a battalion...I think one picks the college that fits best. My DS' is at the absolute right school for his major and what he wants to accomplish in college. The battalion has had two PMS since he's enrolled, and as a result the battalion has changed. Another consideration is that the battalion will follow the MSIV class. So if you really want to pick a battalion you'd have to know who your fellow MSI's were going to be, then you'd have an idea of what kind of battalion you should choose.
     
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  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    "Hands on with study hours" - agree with gokings. Just wanted to point out some units have mandatory study hours for freshman
     
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  8. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    Very good advice from all posters. Nofdad and Gokings are right on that the School has to be the right fit. He could love ARTOC but he will still have majority of time at school working on nonAROTC matters. Really needs to visit the schools, and talk with students, and AROTC cadets. Besides AROTC what does he want out of college? How about trips home, distance? Friends already there? Bigger school vs. smaller. Intramurals? Activities? Dorms, and living arrangements? How is the food at both!

    See if each battalion has a facebook, check out postings. He is a 3 year so first year is on him, or you called validation year for a reason. Many cadets entering think AROTC and Army for 20, but find out not right for them. If he likes the school he is at, and can afford for 4 years ok. If not like the school and out of AROTC, then it is tougher. 100 in battalion is small enough to know many, and excel if really wants. Harder with 200, more cadets getting 300 PFT, but also might be more opportunities. Are both host universities, or satellites. How many satellite schools are going to the host? Is one more stem vs. liberal arts, etc. Good luck, keep up posts!
     
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  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    My son contacted the ROO and asked if he could get in contact with a current cadet. The ROO had a cadet email him, they started a conversation and it helped a lot in his decision. The fact that he contacted 3 battalions and only one actually followed through having someone contact him spoke volumes, that ended up being the school he chose, turned out to be a great decision.

    One other thing for your son to consider, how the ROTC MS classes are counted by the school, how many credits are given for MS classes and which MS classes are given a letter grade, can the credits count toward electives, can some of the upper division MS classes count as Related Fields classes for his major. Seems small now but it can make a difference with scheduling and how loaded a semester turns out to be.

    A lot of good advice given above, just thought I'd throw this is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  10. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Many battalions have a "gold bar recruiter", a recent graduate and commissioned officer who is employed to assist in recruiting while waiting for a BOLC start. These people can provide an insider's perspective on the battalion and campus life. They can be more candid than someone still enmeshed in the program, with the possible exception of MS4's, whose destiny is pretty much settled by now. Even after your future cadet makes his decision, the gold bar recruiter can be an excellent resource.

    Depending on the timing of your visit, it might be worthwhile if your son can observe morning PT and have breakfast afterwards with a few of the cadets.
     
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